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Father and toddler putting laundry in the washing machine.

Colour Fastness Test

In general it’s best to wash your dark and bright colours separately from your whites. But it’s worth knowing if clothes (especially new ones) are colourfast before you put them in with a regular wash. That way you’ll avoid dyes running into other clothes, which can leave them looking an undesirable shade! So check the care label, and do this easy test for colour fastness.  


For soaking or washing

  1. Dampen a small area of hem or inside seam with water
  2. Iron a piece of white fabric or kitchen paper onto it
  3. If the paper soaks up any colour, your garment isn’t colour fast, so should be washed separately


For testing using solvents

(i.e. eucalyptus oil, methylated spirits, white spirit/turpentine substitute, nail polish remover, etc.):

  1. Dampen an inconspicuous part of the garment with the solvent
  2. Blot area with a tissue
  3. If any colour blots off, the garment is not colour fast with the solvent used


Caution:  Do not use an iron to test solvents.